£200 Ballot Bin for butts could be out for the count
The future of a quirky cigarette bin, bought by the council for nearly £200, looks uncertain.
The bright yellow Ballot Bin was introduced in the town centre last autumn but Ashford Borough Council has confirmed that there are no solid plans in place for its use in the future.
It provided smokers with two options to express their preference for either The X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing by dropping their cigarette butt in either section.
But now nine months since its initial – and only – appearance in the borough, there appear to be no plans for the future use of the bin, which was bought by the council for £195.
A council spokesman said: “Last year the council piloted the use of a new style cigarette bin called a Ballot Bin.
“It was trialled in Park Mall for several weeks to see how the public engaged with the bin’s voting system where you choose one of two receptacles to dispose your cigarette butt in.
“After the trial, the Ballot Bin was removed.
“We are currently considering where it could be used in future, for example at specific events.”
The bin scheme was originally launched in 2015 by the environ- mental charity Hubbub Foundation as part of the Neat Streets campaign and was adopted by other councils, including Swale.
Following the trial, the council called the Ballot Bin a “well supported” scheme.
The cigarette bin tied in with the council’s ongoing litter crackdown, which included the introduction of Kingdom litter wardens, who were taken off the streets for extra training recently following a Panorama investigation about some of the private company’s practices.
In the first 10 working days of the scheme, Kingdom wardens dished out 195 on-the-spot fines of £75 for allegedly dropping rubbish.
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, Unit 4, Park Mall Shopping Centre Ashford, TN24 8RY or email kentishexpress@ thekmgroup.co.uk
The cigarette Ballot Bin in Park Mall